The Role of a Lifetime: on Abortion


Allowed abortion as CA Gov.; didnít push pro-life as Pres.

Reagan was not as obsessive about anti-abortion legislation as he often seemed. Early in his California governorship he had signed a permissive abortion bill that has resulted in more than a million abortions. Afterward, he inaccurately blamed this outcome on doctors, saying that they had deliberately misinterpreted the law. When Reagan ran for president, he won backing from pro-life forces by advocating a constitutional amendment that would have prohibited all abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother. Reaganís stand was partly a product of political calculation, as was his tactic after he was elected of addressing the annual pro-life rally held in Washington by telephone so that he would not be seen with the leaders of the movement on the evening news. While I do not doubt Reaganís sincerity in advocating an anti-abortion amendment, he invested few political resources toward obtaining this goal.
Source: The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon, p. 812 Jul 2, 1991

  • The above quotations are from The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Abortion.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Ronald Reagan on Abortion.
2012 Presidential contenders on Abortion:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Apr 16, 2013